Content Marketing: What is it and why do you need it?
Ok, before we let you know why you need it, let’s define content marketing. For that, there’s no one better than the Content Marketing Institute to do it for us. They say:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Essentially, it’s about using fresh content to attract customers and drive their behaviour toward more purchasing and loyalty. Content includes blogs, articles, eBooks, guides, articles, videos, podcasts and more. It’s emerged as a popular tool in marketing because what use to work doesn’t anymore.
Seth Godin says, “[content marketing] is all the marketing that’s left.”
Netflix and on-demand shows don’t come with commercials, people block ads through Internet browsers, and it’s easier than ever to ignore magazine and public advertising in favour of staring into a phone.
Content marketing is now, and the future.
What makes content marketing appealing is the ability to communicate with customers and prospects without directly selling anything to them. There’s no, “Hey, look at this…now buy it!” It’s a slower, organic process that creates an enduring relationship with existing customers and potential new ones. Customers are people, and they seek value in a marketplace that offers an abundance of options. More, people have grown wise to the ways of marketers and are fickle with their loyalty. There’s no faking it anymore.
It’s about creating a lasting connection.
Content marketing is also a great way to measure what’s working and what’s not. What companies find is that useful content wins out over, well, crap content. The key words our borrowed definition of content marketing are “valuable”, “relevant”, and “consistent”. Without these, content is just spam and a cheap attempt at trying to push a product or service. Good content marketing provides real value, which can be measured by increased sales opportunities. If the product or service isn’t selling, it may be time to determine what kind of content works best for that particular market.
A strategy is required for content marketing.
Content marketing is best served through a strategy devised to serve business objectives. It’s about knowing the how, and the why of what’s being created. Choosing the right medium is key, and must factor in industry, organization size, long-term goals, audience demographic and other big picture factors. For some, a blog may be the focal point of a content strategy. For others, it may be an informative video series or collection of eBooks. We’ll explain how best to build a content marketing strategy in detail over the coming weeks.
To what success have you or your company used contenting marketing? Leave a comment about your wins, insights or challenges.
got a project or
partnership in mind?